An inlay restoration is a custom made filling utilized to repair damage to the tooth’s biting surface. Onlays are very similar to inlays, with the exception that onlays are used when both the tooth’s biting surface and one or more of the chewing cusps require repair.
Inlays and onlays are used in teeth that have been damaged by decay or trauma. They make suitable replacements for fractured older fillings, and have the added benefit of being a more conservative treatment approach than crowns because they don’t require much of the tooth structure to be removed.
Inlays can be made of composite material, gold, or porcelain. Porcelain is a popular choice because it can be closely matched to the shade of the tooth and is naturally translucent. Porcelain is also the preferred material when the broken or decayed part of the tooth is too large for a composite (white) filling. Bonded onto the remaining tooth structure, porcelain is stronger than composite material but still provides excellent aesthetics that are preferable to conventional silver fillings.
Porcelain inlays and onlays are highly durable and last much longer than conventional fillings. With proper care, porcelain inlays and onlays will last a long time. But, as with most dental restorations, they may someday require replacement.
Reasons for getting porcelain inlays or onlays:
- To repair broken, fractured, or decayed teeth.
- To repair fractured fillings.
- For larger fillings.
- For cosmetic enhancement.
Two appointments are required for an inlay or onlay procedure. During your first visit, several impressions (molds) will be taken that will be used to create your custom inlay or onlay. A temporary restoration is placed for added protection until your next appointment.
During your second appointment, your new custom inlay or onlay will be carefully fitted and cemented into place. We will make any necessary adjustments to ensure the perfect fit.
At Dental Health Solutions of North Andover we use the latest technology and the finest materials to produce inlays and onlays that offer superior fit, function, and aesthetics. We will provide instructions for the care of your new dental restoration. As with natural teeth, proper oral hygiene, good eating habits, and regular dental visits will help maintain the life of your new restoration.